In 1993 I moved down to a little shack high on the mountain. . .in Palmwoods. . . just out of Mullumbimby. My son, Zeke, was 7 yrs. . . .I just knew I had to get out of the ‘rat race’, the traffic in Brisbane. . .was really affecting me. People used to laugh when I said that. . .’cause I’m originally from Sydney.
Not long after we arrived at our ‘new home’ . . .it was dark. . .all our worldly possessions sitting in boxes around us. It was a very humble shack. .. the ‘Rat’ people were the previous tenants -yes, they carried Rats around on their shoulders. It was all I could afford, ’cause I knew it was time. . .to STOP. . . .and just be. . . my body was giving me messages loud and clear. I attempted to make a sandwich for Zeke. . . .fighting the cockroaches. . .there must have been hundreds, I’d never seen so many. My gorgeous boy sat on a box. . .tears in his eyes. . .he choked. . .”we’ve never lived in a pigsty before”. . . .such an amazingly gorgeous child. . . .so fortunate am I.
I reassured him that we wouldn’t live in there until I’d done lotsa work. . .we had the van. . .and a campground near by. . . that evening we slept in the van. Next day, I set up the van for Zeke. . .my comfy Futon (I used to make them) and all my gorgeous cushions (used to make them too). . . piles of books and a plate of cut fruit. . . .Zeke looked like King Faruq. . .so regal. . .and so deserving. Then I went inside and began the cleaning.
It took weeks. . .I scrubbed and scrubbed. . . .then began the painting. . . we weren’t going to move in there. . until the bedrooms were completed. We lived out of the van. . .and down at the campground. . .Zeke was happy. . .and I knew I’d made the right decision. . . .the environment was simply breathtaking.
Of course, we eventually moved into our little shack. . .all renovated . . .the owner watched us with amusement. . .and I must say surprise. . . .yep I certainly was an excellent tenant. . . when I rented.
Anyway I was going to write one of my poems here. . . .written back in 1993. . .it was my first walk up the mountain. . .cradling our little shack. It shocked me. . . it was the first time. . .I heard the Land. . .speak to me.
I heard it speak
it said to me
“I hurt’, “I’m in pain”
“look what they’ve done to me”
Quite unexpected it came
a city girl
I’ve often been
the Land. . . .to speak to me
The heart within me
felt the pain
the same life
‘Oh my god’
to my eyes
‘why have they done this to you’
where has our feeling
the danger time
As we left Palmwoods. . .me to Ipswich and Zeke to live with his Father in Adelaide. . .he again had tears in his eyes. . .and he choked as he spoke. . . .”this has been the most incredible time . . . .of my whole life”. . .. so precious he is. . .so lucky am I.